Passed CISSP on 10/16

cgrimaldocgrimaldo Member Posts: 439 ■■■■□□□□□□
Hello everyone.....It's finally my turn to make one of these threads! I took the CISSP exam this past Thursday, October 16th at 2pm.

A little bit of background on me. This is my 11th year in IT and I have spent 9 of them in my current job. I would say the last 5 years have been a lot more security-focused than my first 6 years, obviously. I spent first 2 years doing help-desk and my current job I started doing desktop support. I proved myself and starting doing bigger projects and while my employer grew, I grew along with it. I became a jack of all trades so I kept some of those desktop support duties and around 2010 I started doing the security tasks as a part of my primary, daily routine. Most of my experience comes from the following domains: access control, governance (risk management, auditing), Disaster Recovery (I work for a hospital), and some physical security.

Being a jack of all trades and being in a smaller facility, although we are a part of a larger networked/business model, allows me to do all these things. That was one of my biggest reasons for staying at my facility when I got by B.A. in Infrastructure Assurance from UT-San Antonio because I knew I was getting verifiable experience in the domains that would allow me to get my CISSP.

While I know some people can just read a few books and pass the exam, I have always had a tendency to be a bit of a worry-wort and over-study. My materials were:

Shon Harris AIO, study guide with questions
Eric Conrad study guide and AIO
OIG
Sybex

Quiz engines:
CCCure paid version
Transcender quiz engine
Clement Dupuis' new cccure.training website with updated CBTs

as well as various other recommended study guides and documents (overly notes, sunflower pdf, etc)

I work two jobs so I originally started slow by reading the Shon Harris book. It was definitely wordy and overly verbose, so a few chapters in I switched to the Conrad book and when I finished that I moved onto the sybex book. After I finished both books (it took me about a month between both jobs), I moved back to the Shon Harris book and decided to purchase the transcender quiz engine to start practicing. All in all, I only did one or two 250 question exams. Because of time constraints, I could never really put together too much time to take any quizzes longer than 50 questions.

After reading countless amounts of passed/failed CISSP threads and studying people's study routines, one thing you have to understand is that it truly is different for everyone. Even looking at people's notes, they may or may not have the information that helps you remember things or "put things together". You really do have to try different quiz engines if you can, different books, etc.

What I did find is that reading the sybex/conrad books were easier to digest. I then switched back to Harris for the things I needed to drill down more on based on my quiz scores.

What I felt helped me was the membership to Clement's new cccure.training website. I could not say enough good things about his new CBTs. The layout of the material and his explanation of things were exactly what I needed. I even watched some of his videos twice. Because I spent so much time with other material and his new website in the weeks leading up to the exam, I neglected quizzing for a while. I went through all 1000 or so transcender questions and had not touched clement's quiz engine in over a month. I ended up taking about 600-700 quiz questions 3-4 days before the exam so I can hammer out the things I didn't know. They helped me determine things I needed to review one last time.

Looking back, a part of me thinks I over-studied but really reviewing a lot of the material helped re-enforce things I thought I "knew". Like JDMurray and other members have said before, it's not really a 'waste" of time when you are learning new information, whether it was on the exam or not.

I can't say enough about the members on here, the forum, the webmaster/mods, etc for keeping this site running and active. One member in particular, Expect, who just passed his CISSP exam was instrumental in helping me pass. So, thanks again everyone and feel free to ask questions in this thread. I'll be sure to keep an eye on it for a few days. Thanks for reading my rant....

Comments

  • EasyPeezyEasyPeezy Member Posts: 111 ■■■□□□□□□□
  • cgrimaldocgrimaldo Member Posts: 439 ■■■■□□□□□□
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,927 Mod
    Congrats on the pass.
  • cgrimaldocgrimaldo Member Posts: 439 ■■■■□□□□□□
  • Spin LockSpin Lock Member Posts: 142
    Congrats on passing! And thanks for sharing your test experience.

    Now that you've passed the exam, is there anything you'd do differently if you had to do it all over again? I think you made it clear you tend to over-study (as do many of us), but anything else?
  • cgrimaldocgrimaldo Member Posts: 439 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thank you...

    I think I would have quizzed earlier so that I could make a proper assessment of what I needed to focus on sooner than I did this first go-round. Again, it was difficult to string together "long" study sessions because I work 7 days a week so my biggest tasks at hand were to finish the books so I could get a feel for the material. While I believe that it was difficult to really compare quiz engine questions to the actual questions on the exam, I think the person studying should look for how the types of questions make you actually think about the problem they are presenting to you. Becoming familiar with the concepts and being to apply them is how I passed the exam. I don't think it was necessarily because of a specific quiz engine. Although, if I had to make a recommendation, I absolute endorse both transcender and cccure. Having a couple thousand questions to go through will increase your chances of passing.

    When I started quizzing and then reviewing/reading again, I was able to register the information I was reading in a different way. I believe that is why I read chapters from different books multiple times and even watched videos multiple times. In short, quiz often and quiz early.
  • Spin LockSpin Lock Member Posts: 142
    Thanks for the follow-up info. It makes a lot of sense. I too find information that I've missed on a quiz to be more "sticky". This is particularly true if the quiz question really made me think and I still missed it.

    I'm already using cccure. I'll look into transcender as well.
  • cgrimaldocgrimaldo Member Posts: 439 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Glad it made sense to you. Definitely check out transcender. I believe it was worth the investment.
  • ExpectExpect Member Posts: 252 ■■■■□□□□□□
    A living example of dedication is this guy, cgrimaldo. :)

    congrats buddy!
  • cgrimaldocgrimaldo Member Posts: 439 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thank you sir!
  • JockVSJockJockVSJock Member Posts: 1,118
    Congrads to you! Enjoy putting the letters behind you name.
    ***Freedom of Speech, Just Watch What You Say*** Example, Beware of CompTIA Certs (Deleted From Google Cached)

    "Its easier to deceive the masses then to convince the masses that they have been deceived."
    -unknown
  • cgrimaldocgrimaldo Member Posts: 439 ■■■■□□□□□□
  • papadocpapadoc Member Posts: 154
    Congrats! The CCCure site, I've been looking at some of the new CBT stuff that Clement released as well. Reading your testimony will make me pull the trigger on the $170 for the 1 year subscription. Thanks!
  • cgrimaldocgrimaldo Member Posts: 439 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thanks! I know there has been feedback on the quality of some of the CCCure questions but a vast majority of them are solid and the sheer amount of questions will give you plenty of practice. His new material is really solid and for me, was a HUGE difference-maker in my preparation for the test. I plan on taking advantage of his other material he has available to us (CEH).
  • zxbanezxbane Member Posts: 740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congrats, sounds like you put in the hard study time even though you work a lot. Hard work pays off! Do you still plan to stay where you have been for the last 5+ years or test the waters? You could likely get a nice pay raise by moving on at this point unless a promotion is involved with passing the CISSP.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congrats on the pass! I hope to have the same thread as you in a month or two. What materials on CCCure did you find the most helpful? Was it the videos that he's published recently or just the practice exams? I don't have a membership to CCCure but I have been seriously considering it lately. I'm still reading through the AIO so I'll probably finish a go through on that then explore my options for other resources whether it is a book or a video series.
  • cgrimaldocgrimaldo Member Posts: 439 ■■■■□□□□□□
    zxbane wrote: »
    Congrats, sounds like you put in the hard study time even though you work a lot. Hard work pays off! Do you still plan to stay where you have been for the last 5+ years or test the waters? You could likely get a nice pay raise by moving on at this point unless a promotion is involved with passing the CISSP.

    Thanks! I am long overdue for a move. We are a small shop and while I have been tasked with more and more projects/responsibilities over the years, they are not coming in quick enough and often enough, if that makes any sense. Right now stability is key for me and I have that. But, I'm ready to see what is out there and how I can leverage these last few years of security experience, my degree and the CISSP.
  • cgrimaldocgrimaldo Member Posts: 439 ■■■■□□□□□□
    xmalachi wrote: »
    Congrats on the pass! I hope to have the same thread as you in a month or two. What materials on CCCure did you find the most helpful? Was it the videos that he's published recently or just the practice exams? I don't have a membership to CCCure but I have been seriously considering it lately. I'm still reading through the AIO so I'll probably finish a go through on that then explore my options for other resources whether it is a book or a video series.

    Thank you, xmalachi. Obviously your mileage may vary but if I had to choose between his new videos and his quiz questions, I would choose the new videos. The reason I say that is because I believe that the end of chapter questions that come with the Shon Harris book, the Mc-Graw Hill questions and trasncender were more than enough "practice". In other words, you can get away with not having those particular CCCure questions if you have other questions available to you, but the videos were a major study aid for me.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Great, I appreciate the insight!
  • cgrimaldocgrimaldo Member Posts: 439 ■■■■□□□□□□
  • dhanindhanin Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    To practise out on the Cissp questions, dilemma in between transcender and cccure...
    which one should I subscribe? If anyone who has passed the exam and willing to transfer the exam account to me at a good price..
    i will consider to pay for it.

    Thanks
  • cgrimaldocgrimaldo Member Posts: 439 ■■■■□□□□□□
    So....Just an update. I dragged my feet on sending out my paperwork for various reasons but I finally submitted it on Monday, 11/24. I just received my email from ISC2 notifying me that everything looked good and I am now fully certified! :)

    So, it took exactly 22 days to go through the motions on the ISC2. Not too bad....Now to update my resume and Linkedin :)
  • tkcomptkcomp CISSP, CISM, CCSK Member Posts: 21 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats on the Pass and getting the full Cert from ISC2. I submitted my Endorsement paperwork on December 12th so possibly I will get the email first week in January!!! Wahoo
  • cgrimaldocgrimaldo Member Posts: 439 ■■■■□□□□□□
    It will be a good way to start the new year. Congrats on the pass :)
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